Last week, Flint, Bone, and Arrietty went to the movies. Here are their observations on the show.
I will be quite frank: the character Loki makes what would otherwise be a mediocre superhero movie into a pretty good one. Villains these days (apart from the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight) seem to largely be one or two dimensional characters whose existence is justified simply so that the hero has someone to thump. However, the latest Thor movie turns this around. Loki is the most interesting character in the whole film. He has emotions and desires that constantly leave me guessing as to what is real and what is a hoax. He actually feels more genuinely human than any other character in the entire movie. In contrast, Thor himself, Jane Foster, and all of the other characters remain largely unchanged throughout the movie, running through their predictable lines and choices. If all you want in a movie is a buff Chris Hemsworth saving the world and his girlfriend, then you can enjoy the movie completely. However, if you want intriguing characters, then you’ll have to watch the movie for the sake of Loki who almost makes the movie worth watching all by himself.
Though a good movie to see in theaters (good spectacle) and with friends or family (good company), this latest movie from the Marvel universe seemed very unremarkable–perhaps it was the movie itself, or perhaps it was the knowledge going into the movie that nothing climactic would happen since Thor and the other characters will have to be present for Avengers 2. That said, as Flint notes, the character Loki dominates Thor 2. This is the first time I’ve walked out of a theater saying to myself, “That movie wasn’t particularly good as a whole, but it was worth watching because that character (Loki) was really fascinating.” This, perhaps, is the one potential advantage to creating a string of serialized movies–there’s the opportunity to create more multi-faceted, three-dimensional characters that can carry movies with their personalities even when everything else about a movie is forgettable.
I enjoyed Thor: The Dark World. Although the film’s story is far from extraordinary, thanks to its characters, it makes a fun and worthwhile movie. After watching more and more superhero movies, I have come to realize that an excellent villain is key to a good movie. For example, Captain America has a great protagonist and a passable story, but because its villain is underdeveloped and flat, the movie was unremarkable. The makers of Thor have managed to avoid this flaw, for they have crafted one of the greatest super-villains ever: Loki. With his double-sided nature, illusions, deceptions, slipperiness, and smiles, Loki captures the viewer’s attention and catches one off-guard almost all the time. When the movie’s over, it’s Loki that keeps one wondering, “Why did he do that?” Loki’s the most interesting character in the movie, and I’m always hoping he’ll reform. Some movie-goers may watch this movie for the story, for Thor, for Jane Foster, for its CGI, or maybe just because they love superhero films, but I think Loki provides a better reason for seeing this movie than anything else.